• STEP-BY-STEP WRITING HELP

     
    How to Write Informational Paragraphs (EELFNCCO)
     
    Step-by-Step Directions
    1. TOPIC - Introduce your paragraph topic in one sentence.
    2. EXPLAIN - Clarify what you mean in more specific terms.
    3. EXEMPLIFY - Provide one example of this topic.
    4. ELABORATE - Choose one of the following to further explanation or support your topic statement: Literal Description, Figurative Description, Narrative, Compare/Contrast, Cause-Effect, or Other's Experiences
    5. ELABORATE - Choose one of the following to further explanation or support your topic statement: Literal Description, Figurative Description, Narrative, Compare/Contrast, Cause-Effect, or Other's Experiences.
    6. Red Bow CONCLUSION - Close the discussion with one final statement that wraps up the discussion.
    Example
    Despite my role in the high school classroom and the fact that I spend most of my days speaking in front of people, I am actually an introvert by nature. Outside of the classroom, I tend to avoid interaction with others and I'm content to spend most of my free time alone. When it comes to friendships, for example, I'm quite satisfied to catch up with girlfriends over coffee or dinner only once every couple of months or so, rather than speak to them on a daily or weekly basis. In fact, one of my dearest friends is my best friend from high school, who now lives in San Diego, CA. We try to see each other at least once per year, during Spring Break or Summer Break, but because of our busy schedules as wives, mothers, and teachers, we actually spend very little time together. Regardless of how much time passes between visits, though, I still feel closer to her than I feel to most people. I know that, generally speaking, it is human nature to commune and connect; however, I differ from most people in this respect. I prefer the life of a solitary recluse, reaching out only every so often, to that of a fluttering gadabout.
     
     
    How to Write Argument Paragraphs (DEWCRAFT) 
     
    Step-by-Step Directions
    1. CLAIM - Introduce your paragraph topic and state your opinion about it.
    2. EXPLAIN - Clarify what you mean in more specific terms.
    3. COUNTERARGUMENT - Address the opposition.
    4. EVIDENCE 1 - Choose one of the following to support or prove your claim: Definition, Expert Testimony, Witness Statements, Counterargument,Repetition, Authoritative Quotations, Facts/Statistics, Textual Evidence).
    5. WARRANT 1 - Explain how the evidence you've presented proves your claim to be true. Consider using a cause-effect ("If ___ is true, then ___.").
    6. EVIDENCE 2 - Choose one of the following to further support or prove your claim: Definition, Expert Testimony, Witness Statements, Counterargument, Repetition, Authoritative Quotations, Facts/Statistics, Textual Evidence).
    7. WARRANT 2 - Explain how the evidence you've presented proves your claim to be true. Consider using a cause-effect ("If ___ is true, then ___.").
    8. Red Bow CONCLUSION - Close the discussion by restating your claim in a way that wraps up the discussion.
    Example
    It is of the utmost importance that teenagers are avid readers. High school students need to read not only for academic purposes, but also for enjoyment. Today’s teen would likely disagree with this statement, claiming that there are more worthwhile ways to enjoy free time; however, this claim is unsubstantiated and there is abundant evidence to the contrary.  High school teachers often note that students who read the most for fun are almost always the same students who excel in reading comprehension. It is also no secret that reading comprehension is a skill needed in all high school core content areas, as well as on standardized state and college entrance exams. So reading is not just a nice way to pass the time; it can also help students reach goals for the future. As such, reading is worth more than teens may realize. In addition to aiding comprehension, Stephen Krashen, an expert in the field of linguistics and education, states, “Free voluntary reading is an effective tool to develop vocabulary and grammar and improve writing.” In today's technologically advanced society, where people communicate socially and academically on a daily basis, the ability to communicate in writing is more important than ever before. Anyone who doesn't recognize the need to communicate effectively via the written word and who doesn't take every opportunity to do so is essentially muting his or her voice in the world. Therefore, it would behoove all teens to put down the Smartphone or the video game controller and pick up a book. Reading may not be the most popular way for teens to spend their time, but when one considers its educational and social benefits, it could very well be the most worthwhile.
     
     
    How to Write Literary Analysis Paragraphs
     
    Step-by-Step Directions
    1. DEVICE is a literary device employed by authors to DEFINITION.
    2. In TITLE, AUTHOR uses DEVICE to PURPOSE.
    3. To exemplify, TEXT EVIDENCE.
    4. This shows DEVICE because EXPLANATION.
    5. AUTHOR's use of DEVICE engages readers by EFFECT.
     
    Example 1
    Foreshadowing is a literary device employed by authors to warn readers that something unpleasant is going to happen later in the story. In Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck utilizes foreshadowing to show that Lennie will get into trouble again. To exemplify, the fifth chapter opens with Lennie petting his dead puppy, saddened that he has killed yet another soft thing. This shows foreshadowing because Lennie ultimately - although accidentally - kills Curley's wife later in that same chapter. Steinbeck's use of foreshadowing engages his readers by preparing them for the unthinkable.
     
    Example 2
    Monologue is a literary device employed by authors to reveal a character's thoughts to the reader. In Anthem, Ayn Rand uses a monologue to demonstrate how misplaced Equality 7-2521 feels in his community. To exemplify, the story starts with Equality 7-2521 remembering childhood experiences, during which he found himself in trouble and in disagreement with his elders. This shows monologue because, during this recollection, Equality 7-2521 confesses that he thinks he is evil: not only has he never had the power to resist his forbidden thoughts; he doesn't even want to resist them. Rand's use of monologue engages readers by providing a very personal and intimate look into how the main character feels about himself, as well as the society in which he lives.
     
     
    How to Write Power Paragraphs
     
    Step-by-Step Directions
    1. Sentence 1 - State your paragraph TOPIC.
    2. Sentence 2 - Provide a DETAIL about your paragraph topic.
    3. Sentence 3 - Provide specific SUPPORT statement, example, and/or elaboration about your first detail.
    4. Sentence 4 - Provide a second specific SUPPORT statement, example, and/or elaboration about your first detail. Can be a continuation of your idea in Sentence 3.
    5. Sentence 5 - Provide a second DETAIL about your paragraph topic. Remember to use transition words/phrases to move from the first detail to the second.
    6. Sentence 6 - Provide a specific SUPPORT statement, example, and/or elaboration about your second detail.
    7. Sentence 7 - Provide a second specific SUPPORT statement, example, and/or elaboration about your second detail. Can be a continuation of your idea in Sentence 6.
    8. Sentence 8 - Close your paragraph discussion with a RESTATEMENT of your paragraph topic and your two details in one fluent statement. 
    Example
    One would be hard pressed to find anyone who hasn't heard that fruit is the perfect snack for children and adults alike. People often choose fruit, versus other sugary snacks, to eat because it provides various vitamins that the human body needs. An important vitamin found in many fruits, such as berries and citrus fruits, is vitamin C, which is instrumental in fighting off illness. In addition to vitamins that keep humans physically healthy, some fruits, like bananas, also provide nutritional sustenance for emotional well-being because they are packed with various stress-fighting vitamins and minerals. Another reason that fruit makes the perfect snack is the fact that there is little preparation needed to eat it. Most fruits can be eaten raw and without any utensils. This means they are easy to pack into school lunches, take to work, or grab on the go and eat en route to one's destination. It is easy to see why, when looking for a quick and healthy snack to eat, people would naturally think about fruit.
     
     
    How to Write a Thesis Statement

    Answer the following questions to formulate a thesis statement:

    1. What is the TOPIC of your essay?
    2. What STANCE (i.e., opinion) about the topic will you work to prove in your essay?
    3. Write three reasons you will provide to convince your reader that your claim is correct. These reasons should be claims that you make about your topic and should work to convince your readers that they should agree with your claim. Start strong with the second most convincing argument or important point, but save the best for last and end with the MOST convincing reason or important point. Note: If you plan to write a longer essay, you may need to list additional reasons--one reason per body paragraph.
    4. Using your research, common knowledge, and personal experience with your topic, list as many facts and ideas about your first reason (i.e., BP1 TOPIC) as you can.
    5. Using your research, common knowledge, and personal experience with your topic, list as many facts and ideas about your second reason (i.e., BP2 TOPIC) as you can.
    6. Using your research, common knowledge, and personal experience with your topic, list as many facts and ideas about your third reason (i.e., BP3 TOPIC) as you can.
    7. Write one sentence that mentions each element listed above: TOPIC + STANCE + BP1 TOPIC + BP2 TOPIC + BP3 TOPIC. This will be your thesis statement and should be placed at the end of your introduction paragraph. Do not use any of the following in your thesis statement:
      • Questions
      • Declarations (e.g., "I will discuss..." or "In this essay, I will prove...") 
      • Specific data or statistics
      • Direct quotes or paraphrases from outside sources
     
    How to Write an Academic Essay for Any Subject Area 
     
    Introduction Paragraph
    • Sentence 1 - Grab reader's attention with direct quote, statistic, or fact about your paper topic.

    • Sentence 2-5 - Use either a brief personal anecdote or a brief story about a famous person or event to connect your experience and/or understanding of the paper topic OR provide a brief background about your paper topic.

    • Last Sentence - State your thesis, including the paper topic, your comment/opinion/stance, AND two to four main points/subtopics you'll cover in your essay. (Ex: Fruit is truly a phenomenon because, not only does it provide nourishment for the human body and brighten the look of any room, it is also used by scientists for research.)

    Body Paragraph 1
    • Sentence 1 - State your paragraph topic. (Ex: One would be hard pressed to find anyone who hasn't heard that fruit is the perfect snack for children and adults alike.)

    • Sentence 2 - Provide a detail about your paragraph topic. (Ex: People often choose fruit, versus other sugary snacks, to eat because it provides various vitamins that the human body needs.)

    • Sentence 3 - Provide an elaboration (see elaboration strategies under How to Write Informational Paragraphs above) about your 1st detail. This could be a good place for a direct quote or paraphrase (keep direct quotes/paraphrases down to about 1 or 2 per paragraph - most of your writing should be based on your own original thoughts). (Ex: An important vitamin found in many fruits, such as berries and citrus fruits, is vitamin C, which is instrumental in fighting off illness.)

    • Sentence 4 - Provide a second elaboration (see elaboration strategies under How to Write Informational Paragraphs above) about your 1st detail. Can be a continuation of your idea in Sentence 3. (Ex: In addition to vitamins that keep humans physically healthy, some fruits, like bananas, also provide nutritional sustenance for emotional well-being because they are packed with various stress-fighting vitamins and minerals.)

    • Sentence 5 - Provide a second detail about your paragraph topic. Remember to use transition words/phrases to move from the first detail to the second. (Ex: Another reason that fruit makes the perfect snack is the fact that there is little preparation needed to eat it.)

    • Sentence 6 - Provide an elaboration (see elaboration strategies under How to Write Informational Paragraphs above) about your 2nd detail—could be another good place for a quote or paraphrase (again, keep direct quotes/paraphrases down to about 1 or 2 per paragraph). (Ex: Most fruits can be eaten raw and without any utensils.)

    • Sentence 7 - Provide a second elaboration (see elaboration strategies under How to Write Informational Paragraphs above) about your 2nd detail.Can be a continuation of your idea in Sentence 6. (Ex: This means they are easy to pack into school lunches, take to work, or grab on the go and eat en route to one's destination.)

    • Sentence 8 - Close your paragraph discussion by restating your paragraph topic and your two details in one fluent statement. (Ex: So it's easy to see why, when looking for a quick and healthy snack to eat, people would naturally think about fruit.)

    Body Paragraph 2
    • Sentence 1 - State your previous paragraph topic (from Body Paragraph 1) and connect it to this paragraph topic. (Ex: While it is fairly common knowledge that a piece of fruit makes a great snack, many may not realize that it can also be used as a decoration.)

    • Sentence 2 - Provide a detail about your paragraph topic.

    • Sentence 3 - Provide an elaboration (see elaboration strategies under How to Write Informational Paragraphs above) about your 1st detail. This another good place for a direct quote or paraphrase.

    • Sentence 4 - Provide a second elaboration (see elaboration strategies under How to Write Informational Paragraphs above) about your 1st detail. Can be a continuation of your idea in Sentence 3.

    • Sentence 5 - Provide a second detail about your paragraph topic. Remember to use transition words/phrases to move from the 1st detail to the 2nd.

    • Sentence 6 - Provide an elaboration see elaboration strategies under How to Write Informational Paragraphs above) about your 2nd detail. Again, these supporting sentences are great places for direct quotes or paraphrases as long as you keep direct quotes/paraphrases down to about 1 or 2 per paragraph.

    • Sentence 7 - Provide a second elaboration (see elaboration strategies under How to Write Informational Paragraphs above)  about your 2nd detail. Can be a continuation of your idea in Sentence 6.

    • Sentence 8 - Close your paragraph discussion by restating your paragraph topic and your two details in one fluent statement.

    Body Paragraph 3
    • Sentence 1 - State your previous paragraph topic (from Body Paragraph 2) and connect it to this paragraph topic. (Ex: It may not be surprising that fruit is a handy and nutritious snack or even that it is used by some of the top interior designers; however, the public might be shocked to find out that it is also used for research.)

    • Sentence 2 - Provide a detail about your paragraph topic.

    • Sentence 3 - Provide an elaboration (see elaboration strategies under How to Write Informational Paragraphs above) about your 1st detail.

    • Sentence 4 - Provide a second elaboration (see elaboration strategies under How to Write Informational Paragraphs above) about your 1st detail. Can be a continuation of your idea in Sentence 3.

    • Sentence 5 - Provide a second detail about your paragraph topic. Remember to use transition words/phrases to move from the 1st detail to the 2nd.

    • Sentence 6 - Provide a specific support statement, example, or elaboration about your 2nd detail

    • Sentence 7 - Provide a second specific support statement, example, and/or elaboration about your 2nd detail. Can be a continuation of your idea in Sentence 6.

    • Sentence 8 - Close your paragraph discussion by restating your paragraph topic and your two details in one fluent statement.

    Body Paragraph 4+
    • Continue following the 8-sentence guidelines to provide additional main point/subtopic discussions.

    Conclusion Paragraph

    Note: Do not copy and paste ANY sentences or phrasing from your intro or your body paragraphs and use them in your conclusion.

    • Sentence 1 - Restate your topic and focus, opinion, or claim.

    • Sentence 2-4 - Make a general statement about each subtopic covered in your essay.

    • Sentence 5 - Make one last final statement about your paper topic that wraps up your discussion—provide closure, make a prediction, motivate reader to act. NO new topics, subtopics, or details.


     
    Modified Academic Essay Directions
     
    Write a FULL Introduction Paragraph
    • Sentence 1 - Grab reader's attention with direct quote, statistic, or fact about your paper topic.

    • Sentence 2-5 - Use either a brief personal anecdote or a brief story (no more than 3 sentences) about a famous person or event to connect your experience and/or understanding of the paper topic OR provide a brief background about your paper topic.

    • Last Sentence - State your thesis, including the paper topic, your comment/opinion/stance, AND two to four main points/subtopics you'll cover in your essay. (Ex: Fruit is truly a phenomenon because, not only does it provide nourishment for the human body and brighten the look of any room, it is also used by scientists for research.)

    Write a FULL paragraph for Body Paragraph 1
    • Sentence 1 - State your paragraph topic. (Ex: One would be hard pressed to find anyone who hasn't heard that fruit is the perfect snack for children and adults alike.)

    • Sentence 2 - Provide a detail about your paragraph topic. (Ex: People often choose fruit, versus other sugary snacks, to eat because it provides various vitamins that the human body needs.)

    • Sentence 3 - Provide an elaboration (see elaboration strategies under How to Write Informational Paragraphs above) about your 1st detail. This could be a good place for a direct quote or paraphrase (keep direct quotes/paraphrases down to about 1 or 2 per paragraph - most of your writing should be based on your own original thoughts). (Ex: An important vitamin found in many fruits, such as berries and citrus fruits, is vitamin C, which is instrumental in fighting off illness.)

    • Sentence 4 - Provide a second elaboration (see elaboration strategies under How to Write Informational Paragraphs above) about your 1st detail. Can be a continuation of your idea in Sentence 3. (Ex: In addition to vitamins that keep humans physically healthy, some fruits, like bananas, also provide nutritional sustenance for emotional well-being because they are packed with various stress-fighting vitamins and minerals.)

    • Sentence 5 - Provide a second detail about your paragraph topic. Remember to use transition words/phrases to move from the first detail to the second. (Ex: Another reason that fruit makes the perfect snack is the fact that there is little preparation needed to eat it.)

    • Sentence 6 - Provide an elaboration (see elaboration strategies under How to Write Informational Paragraphs above) about your 2nd detail—could be another good place for a quote or paraphrase (again, keep direct quotes/paraphrases down to about 1 or 2 per paragraph). (Ex: Most fruits can be eaten raw and without any utensils.)

    • Sentence 7 - Provide a second elaboration (see elaboration strategies under How to Write Informational Paragraphs above) about your 2nd detail. Can be a continuation of your idea in Sentence 6. (Ex: This means they are easy to pack into school lunches, take to work, or grab on the go and eat en route to one's destination.)

    • Sentence 8 - Close your paragraph discussion by restating your paragraph topic and your two details in one fluent statement. (Ex: So it's easy to see why, when looking for a quick and healthy snack to eat, people would naturally think about fruit.)

    Write ONLY the TOPIC SENTENCE for Body Paragraph 2
    • Topic Sentence (indent) - State your previous paragraph topic (from Body Paragraph 1) and connect it to this paragraph topic. (Ex: While it is fairly common knowledge that a piece of fruit makes a great snack, many may not realize that it can also be used as a decoration.)

    Write ONLY the TOPIC SENTENCE for Body Paragraph 3
    • Topic Sentence (indent) - State your previous paragraph topic (from Body Paragraph 2) and connect it to this paragraph topic. (Ex: It may not be surprising that fruit is a handy and nutritious snack or even that it is used by some of the top interior designers; however, the public might be shocked to find out that it is also used for research.)

    Write ONLY the TOPIC SENTENCE for Body Paragraph 4
    • Topic Sentence (indent) - State your previous paragraph topic (from Body Paragraph 3) and connect it to this paragraph topic. Only provide this fourth paragraph if you've included the information in your thesis statement.

    Write a FULL Conclusion Paragraph (Note: Do not copy and paste ANY sentences or phrasing from your intro or your body paragraphs and use them in your conclusion.)
    • Sentence 1 - Restate your topic and focus, opinion, or claim.

    • Sentence 2-4 - Make a general statement about each subtopic covered in your essay.

    • Sentence 5 - Make one last final statement about your paper topic that wraps up your discussion—provide closure, make a prediction, motivate reader to act. NO new topics, subtopics, or details.